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A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

WDWFigment

Well-Known Member
Here's the thing about these low rates.

My comparison was to the post-9/11 discounts. 9/11 was a worst-in-70-years terrorist event.

Discounts from 2007-2011/12 were in the aftermath of a worst-in-80-years economic crisis.

What's the "worst-in-x-years" event that's driving these discounts?

If this is just business-as-usual, then I don't understand how the post-crises rates were not lower, when Disney was legitimately more worried. Labor and other costs have gone up since then.

I haven't done the numbers, but I'm pretty sure that food and ticket prices have risen about the same. Is it that Disney thinks those and merch will make up the difference?

I'd say consumer confidence/sentiment are the most important indicators with regard to travel spending, and the last few months is the highest those indexes have been since pre-9/11. (Which also helps explain why DCL and Anaheim hotel prices have been trending upward, at least in part.)

I do think there's more to the story, though--you only have to look forward to October to see a return of exorbitant pricing. WDW has done a pretty good job of (re)distributing crowds throughout its calendar year by way of discounting and special events, but this is the second consecutive year that they've failed to hit their targets in the summer.

Having that happen once can be explained away as a one off--blame foreign economies or the introduction of dynamic ticket pricing. Two years in a row? Not so much.
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
What's the "worst-in-x-years" event that's driving these discounts?

Increased prices purposely designed to stop attendance from peaking so much that customer satisfaction is low. It also helps to see where the line is that the market can bear.

Increased prices (and blackout dates) reduce overall attendance to stop the peaks. Then the discounts can be offered for off peak times. It lowers the mountains and fills in the valleys on the attendance charts.
 

lentesta

Well-Known Member
Imma put this here too:

Checking in at Music this week with my SO, her MagicBand didn't work on the room door. So we go to the front desk. CM there checks LILO and says "Oh, it has you booked at Saratoga Springs too. This has been happening a lot." He shows me the screen before he fixes it.

Apparently there's an issue where 1 reservation will be booked at 2 hotels for the same family on the same dates. The CM says it's been going on for a while, and affects dates as far in the future as October. So if you're seeing no availability for what should be a slow period, that might be the cause. They're fixing them manually as people check in. And it's only on LILO - you can't see it on MDE. (I'm not sure how that works.)

No ETA on getting it fixed, from what I was told.

Also, I have a lot of MagicBands I should de-register.
 

andysol

Well-Known Member
Imma put this here too:

Checking in at Music this week with my SO, her MagicBand didn't work on the room door. So we go to the front desk. CM there checks LILO and says "Oh, it has you booked at Saratoga Springs too. This has been happening a lot." He shows me the screen before he fixes it.

Apparently there's an issue where 1 reservation will be booked at 2 hotels for the same family on the same dates. The CM says it's been going on for a while, and affects dates as far in the future as October. So if you're seeing no availability for what should be a slow period, that might be the cause. They're fixing them manually as people check in. And it's only on LILO - you can't see it on MDE. (I'm not sure how that works.)

No ETA on getting it fixed, from what I was told.

Also, I have a lot of MagicBands I should de-register.

You're crazy for not saying "never mind, don't worry about it" and then heading over to SSR to check in.

The Music? Poor thing... ;)
 

lentesta

Well-Known Member
You're crazy for not saying "never mind, don't worry about it" and then heading over to SSR to check in.

The Music? Poor thing... ;)

I needed to review it. Between the MDE-enabled, direct-to-room check-in, the ability to decline housekeeping, and the new food court ordering process, it's amazing how little human interaction there can be at the value resorts.
 

Disneyhead'71

Well-Known Member
I needed to review it. Between the MDE-enabled, direct-to-room check-in, the ability to decline housekeeping, and the new food court ordering process, it's amazing how little human interaction there can be at the value resorts.
The less interaction one has to have with central FL minimum wage workers the better. If you must deal with one, best to start with, "Is your manager around?"
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
Imma put this here too:

Checking in at Music this week with my SO, her MagicBand didn't work on the room door. So we go to the front desk. CM there checks LILO and says "Oh, it has you booked at Saratoga Springs too. This has been happening a lot." He shows me the screen before he fixes it.

Apparently there's an issue where 1 reservation will be booked at 2 hotels for the same family on the same dates. The CM says it's been going on for a while, and affects dates as far in the future as October. So if you're seeing no availability for what should be a slow period, that might be the cause. They're fixing them manually as people check in. And it's only on LILO - you can't see it on MDE. (I'm not sure how that works.)

No ETA on getting it fixed, from what I was told.

Also, I have a lot of MagicBands I should de-register.

World Class IT, world class ...
 

lentesta

Well-Known Member
The less interaction one has to have with central FL minimum wage workers the better. If you must deal with one, best to start with, "Is your manager around?"

I'm actually going to talk about this in an upcoming show. "Is your manager around" is the result of Disney thinking "customer service" is a temporary job, not a career. Looking at their union contracts, Disney's hourly wage seems to support only people without dependents. That excludes half of U.S. households with kids right off the top, plus households in which the dependent isn't a minor (so single parents with older kids or aging parents.) I'm using MIT's living wage calculator for Osceola and Orange counties for this.

But yeah, you're right. When customer service isn't a career, nobody is empowered to make a decision alone, and there's no institutional knowledge of a service-oriented culture. Disney ends up having these jobs with super narrow responsibilities, because that's what they can train in a cost-effective way given the turnover. When your problem falls outside that limited range of responsibilities, you go to a manager who can actually make a decision.

The kicker is that to pay these union employees a living wage would, according to my SWAG, cost the company $40 million per year. They grossed $15 billion last year. That $40 million would raise the cost of a bottle of Coke from $3.00 to $3.01. Your stay at French Quarter would go up by $0.75 per night.

That assumes that, you know, shareholders don't just want to give up the $40 million, or 0.0025% of gross revenue. That would cause the business to collapse.
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
I'm actually going to talk about this in an upcoming show. "Is your manager around" is the result of Disney thinking "customer service" is a temporary job, not a career. Looking at their union contracts, Disney's hourly wage seems to support only people without dependents. That excludes half of U.S. households with kids right off the top, plus households in which the dependent isn't a minor (so single parents with older kids or aging parents.) I'm using MIT's living wage calculator for Osceola and Orange counties for this.

But yeah, you're right. When customer service isn't a career, nobody is empowered to make a decision alone, and there's no institutional knowledge of a service-oriented culture. Disney ends up having these jobs with super narrow responsibilities, because that's what they can train in a cost-effective way given the turnover. When your problem falls outside that limited range of responsibilities, you go to a manager who can actually make a decision.

The kicker is that to pay these union employees a living wage would, according to my SWAG, cost the company $40 million per year. They grossed $15 billion last year. That $40 million would raise the cost of a bottle of Coke from $3.00 to $3.01. Your stay at French Quarter would go up by $0.75 per night.

That assumes that, you know, shareholders don't just want to give up the $40 million, or 0.0025% of gross revenue. That would cause the business to collapse.
Where does the $40 million number come from?
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
I'm actually going to talk about this in an upcoming show. "Is your manager around" is the result of Disney thinking "customer service" is a temporary job, not a career. Looking at their union contracts, Disney's hourly wage seems to support only people without dependents. That excludes half of U.S. households with kids right off the top, plus households in which the dependent isn't a minor (so single parents with older kids or aging parents.) I'm using MIT's living wage calculator for Osceola and Orange counties for this.

But yeah, you're right. When customer service isn't a career, nobody is empowered to make a decision alone, and there's no institutional knowledge of a service-oriented culture. Disney ends up having these jobs with super narrow responsibilities, because that's what they can train in a cost-effective way given the turnover. When your problem falls outside that limited range of responsibilities, you go to a manager who can actually make a decision.

The kicker is that to pay these union employees a living wage would, according to my SWAG, cost the company $40 million per year. They grossed $15 billion last year. That $40 million would raise the cost of a bottle of Coke from $3.00 to $3.01. Your stay at French Quarter would go up by $0.75 per night.

That assumes that, you know, shareholders don't just want to give up the $40 million, or 0.0025% of gross revenue. That would cause the business to collapse.

It would mean that rougly 400,000 shares of Disney stock could not be repurchased also leading to the total collapse of TWDC...
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have seen the discussion has moved on largely to WDW's current discounting and what it means. And that is as good as anything ...

We could talk about how Bob Iger, freshly back from time hanging with Oprah and others on David Geffen's yacht in Europe, has dropped by WDI again to check on the AA figure of Donald Trump. It was suggested to me that this is very likely because of the feelings (trying to be as non-confrontational as possible with the crazies here, so go easy!) of Imagineers about 45 and the fear they might do something to make the figure look ... worse. Or delay the already delayed (BIGLY) debut.

But on the subject of WDW and discounting ... one thing is very clear: they have had a disappointing summer (and last year's was as well). Now, maybe people are getting smart after 45 years and realizing that summer really is the worst time of year in the swamps, but I have a feeling that isn't what is at play here.

Whether we are talking about resort discounts, unheard of food and beverage discounts (three courses at Jiko for $35?!? Isn't the typical entree there now over $40?) and merchandise discounts, it sure seems like business isn't what they'd like.

Then, we have THREE Halloween Parties BEFORE Labor Day. We have Food and Wine Fest happening now ... in August. We have labor cuts. We have hours cut across property for CMs. Lots of back stage cuts too.

Is WDW going out of business? Why is it run that way then? This is the 21st century MO. All desperation. Sad.

It doesn't feel like this anywhere else. It's like all the building in FL ... all these houses going up as fast as they can because the builders know there is a bubble that is going to burst and they want to make as much as they can before.

On the positive side, DAK had its October hours expanded by a whole 30 minutes most nights and 60 minutes on nights with 7 p.m. planned closures. WOO HOO!!!

I don't know what the deal really is. I do have some ideas ... but they will have to wait for the weekend.

Oh, and Disney isn't about to dump Marvel ... or ESPN ... or ABC ... but that doesn't mean all those big Marvel attractions will be built anytime soon either.
 

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